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Our youth, all liveried o'er with foreign gold!
Before her dance: behind her crawl the old !
See thronging millions to the pagot run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!
Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim,
That not to be corrupted is the shame.
In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,
'Tis avarice all, ambition is no more!
See, all our nobles begging to be slaves !
See, all our fools aspiring to be knaves !
The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
Are what ten thousand envy, and adore ;
All, all look up, with reverential awe,
And crimes that 'scape or triumph o'er the law;
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry-
.Nothing is sacred now but villany."
may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show there was one who held it in disdain,
Fr. " Vis all a libel ! - Paxton, sir, will say,
P. Not yet my friend ! to-morrow, 'faith it may;
And for that very cause I print to-day.
How should I fret to mangle every line,
In reverence to the sins of thirty-nine !
Vice with such giant-strides comes on amain,
Invention strives to be before in vain;
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong,
Some rising genius sins up to my song.
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash;
E'en Guthry saves half Newgate by a dash.
Spare then the person, and expose the vice.
P. How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice!
Come on then, satire ! general, unconfined,
Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind.
Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all!
Ye tradesmen, vile, in army, court, or hall!
Ye reverend atheists. F. Scandal ! name them, who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do.
Who starved a sister, who foreswore a debt,
I never named: the town's inquiring yet.
The poisoning dame-F. you mean-P. I don't.
F. You do.
P. See, now I keep the secret, and not you
The bribing statesmen-F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The bribed elector-F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what: Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not? Must great offenders, once escaped the crown, Like royal harts, be never more run down ? Admit your law to spare the knight requires, As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires ? Suppose I censure-you know what I mean To save a bishop may
name a dean? F. A dean, sir ? no; his fortune is not made : You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.
P. If not the tradesman who sets up to-day, Much less the 'prentice who to-morrow may, Down, down, proud satire ! though a realm be spoil'd, Arraign no mightier chief than wretched Wild: Or, if a court or country's made a job, Go, drench a pickpocket, and join the mob.
But, sir, I beg you, (for the love of vice !) The matter's weighty, pray consider twice; Have you less pity for the needy cheat,
The poor and friendless villain than the great? ?
Alas! the small discredit of a bribe
Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe.
Then better sure it charity becomes
To tax directors, who (thank God) have plums;
Still better, ministers; or, if the thing
May pinch e'en there-why lay it on a king.
F. Stop! stop !
P. Must satire, then, nor rise nor fall! Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike ! why the man was bang'd ten years ago : Who now that obsolete example fears ? E'en Peter trembles only for his ears.
F. What always Peter ? Peter thinks you mad, You make men desperate, if they once are bad, Else might he take to virtue some years hence
P. As S-k, if he lives will love the prince.
F. Strange spleen to S-k!
P. Do I wrong the man ?
God knows, I praise a courtier where I can.
When I confess, there is who feels for fame
And melts, to goodness, need 1 Scarborow name?
Pleased let me own, in Esher's peaceful grove
(Where Kent and nature vie for Pelbam's love,
T'he scene, the master, opening to my view,
I sit and dream I see iny crags anew !
E’en in a bishop I can spy desert;
Secker is decent, Rundell has a heart
Manners with candour are to Benson given;
To Berkeley every virtue under heaven.
But does the court a worthy man remove?
That instant, 1 declare, he has my love:
I shun his zenith, court his mild decline;
Thus Somers once, and Halifax were mine.
Oft, in the clear still mirror of retreat,
I studied Shrewsbury, the wise and great ;
Carleton's calm sense, and Stanhope's noble flame
Compared, and knew their generous end the same:
How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour!
How shined the soul, unconquer'd in the Tower!
How can I Pulteney, Chesterfield forget,
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit?
Argyle, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the senate and the field ?
Or Wyndham, just to freedom and the throne
The master of our passions, and his own ?
Names, which I long have loved, nor loved in vain,
Rank'd with their friends, and number'd with their
And if yet higher the proud list should end,
Still let me say, no follower, but a friend.
Yet think not, friendship only prompts my lays :
I follow virtue: where she shines, I praise ;
Points she to priests or elder, Winig or Tory,
Or round a quaker's beaver cast a glory.
I never (to my sorrow I declare)
Dined with the Man of Ross, or my Lord Mayor.
Some in their choice of friends (nay look not grave)
Have still a secret bias to a knave;
To find an honest man I beat about,
And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why so few commended ?
P. not so tierce ;
you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. But random praise--the task can ne'er be done :
Each mother asks it for her booby son;
Each widow asks it for the best of men,
For him she weeps, for him she weds again.
Praise cannot stoop, like satire, io the ground:
The number may be hang'd but not be crown'd.
Enough for half the greatest of these days,
To escape my censure, not expect my praise.
Are they not rich? what more can they pretend ?
Dare they to hope a poet for their friend?
What Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain,
And what young Ammon wish'd but wish'd in vain.
No power the muse's friendship can command;
No power, when virtue claims it, can withstand :
To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line:
O let my country's friends illumine mine!
What are you thinking? F. 'Faith the thought's no
sin, I think
your friends are out, and would be in. P. If merely to come in, sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely round about.
F. They too may be corrupted, you'll allow.
P. I only call those knaves who are so now.
Is that too little ? Come then, I'll comply-
Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lie:
Cobham's a coward, Polwarth is a slave,
And Lyttleton a dark, designing knave ;
St. John has ever been a wealthy fool-
But let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull,
Has never made a friend in private life,
And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.'
pray when others praise him, do I blame?
Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name!
Why rail they then, if but a wreath of mine,